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IBM Lotus Notes , IBM Lotus Domino -Past , Present and Future !

Bheema Upadhyaya
27/04/2017 0 0

Whats is the name?

Whatta nice name - Lotus Notes (Wikipedia Link) ! And another simple word Notes and starting with IBM ! The name says it all !Lets see the product name in that order, : IBM, Lotus , Notes . First, its an IBM product now. In past it was a product of Lotus Corporation. And last name is real name of product, Notes ! Yes, name is so so simple and initial feature of product was also simple - save notes !

The past !

It was called Plato Notes and product was developed by few young men to share their notes across local area network and in a secure way ! They formed a company called Irish Associates. The product was so successful that it was taken over by Lotus Corporation. Lotus was a company who had flagship product Lotus 123, the first spreadsheet software of the world. Lotus developed Notes into huge and secure platform for messaging and rapid application development (RAD). The server was called as Lotus Domino and the client was called as Lotus Notes. The security provided by was unmatchable in the market and big corporations and governments felt very comfortable with product to be implemented for secured communication and collaboration. And product was big hit ! As IBM, the big blue, watched the success and being short of a product line for messaging and collaboration, it was obvious that Lotus Notes and Domino were right products to be grabbed into their fold. Wasting no time, they acquired the whole company of Lotus Corporation. And IBM Lotus Notes was born. And as branding branding practice, IBM tried to drop the "Lotus" from product name, but no , people are not ready to give up, still they call it as Lotus Notes instead of IBM Notes.

The present !!

But competitors were not keeping quiet. The giants like Microsoft quickly learned the value of the product and upgraded their products and started giving at competitive prices. But Notes has captured many biggies in the world market and has established big base. Huge investments were made to develop tailor made apps for them. Users are happy , specially for rapid development cycles. It is easily compatible with latest DevOps process.

However, many users felt that Lotus Notes is little odd man. Mainly the reason being the way user interface(UI) is design. Many of so called "UI conventions" do not match with that of mainstream products. Probably in the world of HTML5 and CSS, they Notes UI looks like "old man". And thus users have started feeling it as legacy product even though factually it meets most of the business requirements.

IBM Notes client is heavy client which is at least 600MB ! Product also uses heavy LAN band width at times. Yes, many times, it succeeds to slow entire local machine mainly because it does lot of computing at local machine. While local processing was good at old time due to limited capability of servers, now the scene is totally different as we have giant servers with huge computing powers. But Notes, on the other hand seems have not changed way it computes. All of these, have started users to rethink about the product.

From past few years, users are feeling that IBM is not focusing on Lotus Notes and have impression that IBM is trying to kill Lotus Notes and trying to merge product into other IBM products. This seems have created big impact on Notes market. Additionally, users feel IBM licensing is very expensive and IBM support is not matching with the money companies spend on this product.

The future !!!

But the best part is IBM has announce their intention to keep product alive well beyod 2025 and enhance the product. The IBM has brought a new social edition of IBM Notes. Has incorporated all the best and latest technologies like HTML5, CSS and others into IBM Notes products. What is more? IBM has provided ways to "make over" for "old looking" apps into brand new avatars.

Conclusion. If IBM reconsiders to reduce licensing cost and current user companies can invest some minimal amount to modernize the old apps, IBM Notes has bright future. Again, IBM needs more focus on support area.

Note: The views are my personal, not of my employer/s. I am not an IBM employee either.



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